Arsenal make contact over 17yo Brazil phenomenon at Santos

Kaiky Fernandes (C) of Santos celebrates after scoring during the Copa Libertadores soccer match between Santos and Deportivo Lara at Vila Belmiro stadium in Santos, Brazil, 09 March 2021. Copyright: GUILHERME DIONIZIO POOL
Kaiky Fernandes (C) of Santos celebrates after scoring during the Copa Libertadores soccer match between Santos and Deportivo Lara at Vila Belmiro stadium in Santos, Brazil, 09 March 2021. Copyright: GUILHERME DIONIZIO POOL

Arsenal are following Santos centre-back Kaiky, according to reports in Brazil, a highly-rated prospect and youth international.

20.04.2021: Kaiky makes a tackle in the match between Santos x Barcelona SC for the 1st round of Group C of the 2021 Libertadores. Photo: Van Campos / Fotoarena
20.04.2021: Kaiky makes a tackle in the match between Santos x Barcelona SC for the 1st round of Group C of the 2021 Libertadores. Photo: Van Campos / Fotoarena

Goal Brazil report that Arsenal and Ajax have made enquiries over Santos defender Kaiky, who is considered a “phenomenon” in his home country.

For now, Arsenal have only asked for information, and haven’t placed a formal bid. His release clause is €70m, and his contract is valid until November 2023. The club certainly wouldn’t pay that right now, but Kaiky’s market value is considered above €10m.

As Kaiky is currently 17, he can’t leave Santos until next January, on his 18th birthday.

But as we’ve seen with the recent Manchester City announcement of the similarly-named Kayky, joining from Fluminense, it’s possible to complete the transfer before the player’s 18th birthday and just wait for them to turn 18 before bringing them in.

That’s what Arsenal did with Gabriel Martinelli after all, agreeing a deal to sign him earlier in 2019 but only announcing it after his birthday.

Despite his age, Kaiky has made himself a regular in the Santos side in recent months. He’s played 90 minutes in all of their Copa Libertadores fixtures since the start of March, as well as making four further appearances in the Campeonato Paulista.

Kaiky is already a Brazil youth international, having captained the Brazil u16s when he was just 15 years old. He clearly appears to have a bright future, so it’s no surprise Arsenal and Ajax are interested.